Skip to main content

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 30, 2012 10:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best News In Years

Its not a vaccine, its a drug to treat infected individuals and it is a bit curious that there is no mention of where this is being published. Something this big, if published in a high end journal would have been embargoed until the publication and the press release would have mentioned where the data was published. I wish I could share your optimism, but i need to see the facts first.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ColdRain108 Date: Aug 30, 2012 2:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best News In Years

""The potent drug has been tested on animals and has shown that a single oral dose has completely cured those infected with malaria parasites.""

Only in the animal testing stages, will be years before it can be given to humans if ever. The term "junk science" is used to describe the release of early clinical trial results (and this is only in the animals testing stages) just to grab a headline. I've seen more than one "cure for cancer" news flash on the old TV...turns out curing cancer in mice is a bit easier than in humans.

I worked on a Malaria drug for quite a while back in the early 90's. Biotech stuff, nothing ever came of it. Generally how it works, lots of promise - even in the animal testing stages- then zip once it starts to be used on humans. It is a long and winding road from early clinical trials to marketable drug.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 30, 2012 2:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best News In Years

I particularly enjoyed the quote you cite. I can't think of a single drug that is curative in a single oral dose for any disease, let alone a parasite! Unless you are trying to cure the ailment of viability. Then cyanide is quite effective as a single oral dose.

Curing cancer in mice is easy because most of the mouse models at best do not account for all the changes that occur to the body and particularly the immune system when you develop cancer. As our knowledge of the genetics of the disease(s) as well as our ability to manipulate the genetics of the mouse has improved, the models are becoming more and more similar to human disease and hopefully will yield more accurate data during preclinical testing. For my own work, i don't use mouse models because there isn't a good one yet. However as you point out that has resulted in a disease that has seen over 500 drugs with preclinical activity translate into only 4 FDA approvals in the last 10 years. Four new drugs for a form of cancer is actually pretty good compared others cancers.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 30, 2012 7:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best News In Years

Why, then you agree with my favorite quote, from South Africa's Science and Technology Minister (who was probably Minister of Transportation last year and will be Minister of Education next year):

"Clearly the war on disease is not yet won."

Reminds me of Roland Hedley on Doonesbury: "One thing is for sure: Life goes on."

I hope they're right, but it sounds like it was put out for political reasons. Or maybe it WAS peer-reviewed, but the South African govt got the news by Neutrino Report, so, see, it came faster than it happened ...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 31, 2012 5:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best News In Years

I did a pubmed search and found they published this in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry back in April. I can't access the journal from home but at least you can see the abstract here. This is a reputable journal but not where i would have expected such a potentially high impact finding. I think i have access at work so I will check it out then. The abstract does not mention anything about mechanism of action, which may explain why this is not in a high profile journal.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jm3001373

The abstract does point to the concern that was raised by Little Sense regarding mouse models. The mice they cured were infected with Plasmodium berghei. This species does not infect humans. Although they have shown activity against drug-resistant strains that do infect humans, that was done in a test tube.

Okay, i read the paper and the drug at 30 mg/kg will cure (no evidence of parasites after 30 days) after a single oral dose. As a reference, the old warhorse of malaria treatment, chloroquine will also cure these mice at dose of 30 mg/kg, but it takes four oral doses. The only concern that was raised was a potential for some cardiotoxicity although it seemed pretty mild. They do comment on the fact that they have no idea how the drug works.

So this looks like a small step. If it were a vaccine, as micah had originally suggested, then it would be a giant leap.

This post was modified by elbow1126 on 2012-08-31 12:31:26

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cosmicharIie Date: Aug 31, 2012 5:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best News In Years

eh...ya gotta die of something

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 31, 2012 5:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best News In Years

Well that has been one of the debates in the comments from the original article that micah posted. If you cure malaria in Africa, how are you going to feed everyone? I think you cross that bridge when you get there but you should strive to get there.